Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

September 3, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupSome highlights from the past week’s litigation headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include two federal court rulings: one finding the EPA may reject a state’s water quality criteria and the other finding BN.com’s browsewrap agreement can’t bind a customer to arbitration, and lawsuits over a documentary film’s losses, immigrant children’s deportation hearings, and drones and civil rights:

Barnes & Noble’s ‘browsewrap’ agreement can’t bind customer to arbitration, 9th Circuit rules: Barnes & Noble cannot bind a consumer to an arbitration clause in its website’s terms of use because it never directed him to review the hyperlinked terms and, therefore, he never accepted them, a federal appeals court affirmed Aug. 18. “This case should be a wake-up call for website owners who attempt to control site use by including a hyperlink to legal terms of use at the bottom of the webpage,” said attorney Seth D. Greenstein, a partner in the Washington office of Constantine Cannon, who was not involved in the case. (Computer & Internet)

8th Circuit affirms that EPA can reject state’s water-quality criteria: The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an appeal by El Dorado Chemical Co. after the Environmental Protection Agency rejected Arkansas’ dissolved mineral water quality criteria for two tributaries in the state. Affirming a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, the 8th Circuit held Aug. 15 that the EPA was not arbitrary or capricious in finding that El Dorado’s third-party rulemaking in developing the water-quality criteria did not adequately protect the aquatic life in Flat Creek and Haynes Creek. (Environmental)

Insurers sued over documentary film’s losses in Indonesia, Hawaii: A documentary film producer has filed a lawsuit accusing its insurers of refusing to cover losses it suffered after a series of camera malfunctions during two of the company’s productions. In a complaint filed Aug. 14 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, MacGillivray-Freeman Films claims OneBeacon Insurance Group and its affiliates breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by denying coverage for the production company’s “substantial and devastating losses.” (Insurance Coverage)

Immigrant children ask judge to halt deportation hearings: Civil rights groups representing immigrant children in a nationwide class action that says those facing deportation hearings lack legal representation have asked a Seattle federal judge for an injunction to halt imminent hearings until the minors get lawyers. The July 31 motion for a preliminary injunction comes three weeks after the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Counsel and others sued the government, alleging it violates federal immigration laws and the U.S. Constitution by not ensuring that immigrant children have representation. (Class Action)

Connecticut police say they downed man’s drone, not his civil rights: Police officers’ actions in stopping a drone from flying above an active crime scene did not violate the user’s First or Fourth Amendment rights, according to the Hartford, Conn., police being sued over the incident. Efforts to prevent a civilian from interfering with an active accident investigation did not amount to violation of his free speech rights or freedom from unlawful seizure, the police say in filings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. “There is no decisional law of the [U.S.] Supreme Court and the 2nd [U.S.] Circuit [Court of Appeals] that would support the existence of plaintiff’s right to operate his drone equipment in and directly above the denoted crime scene area while an active investigation is being conducted,” a July 31 response brief filed by the Hartford Police Department, Lt. Brian Foley and Sgt. Edward Yergeau says. (Aviation)